After a critically acclaimed sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre, Phil Willmott’s new production of Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy transfers to the King’s Head Theatre. In this forgotten masterpiece about Jewish registration in Nazi-occupied France, Miller’s play seems closer than ever to today’s world of “Extreme Vetting” and religious persecution.
Director Phil Willmott says: “Demand to see this production took us all by surprise. With the show selling out after previews and even returned tickets snapped up within hours, I’m absolutely delighted that we’re to embark on a second run at the King’s Head and that many more people will experience this powerful and poignant drama. With the rise of the far right in Europe, no one can afford to ignore the sometimes uncomfortable truths about compliance and complicity laid bare by Miller’s depiction of ten disparate and terrified prisoners, pulled off the streets and awaiting racial profiling.”
King’s Head artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher says: “We’re so thrilled to have Phil Willmott back at the King’s Head Theatre, and the smash success of Incident at Vichy is proof-positive of the power of pub theatre. It’s a pleasure to be able to give a wider audience a chance to experience Miller’s painfully relevant play.”
In the detention room of a Vichy police station in 1942, eight men have been picked up for questioning but none are told why they are held, or when they can leave. At first, their hopeful guess is that only their identity papers will be checked – but as each man is removed for interrogation, some are set free, some are never seen again, and the stakes rise for those who remain… A haunting examination of the cold, bureaucratic efficiency of evil – and the shared humanity that might overcome it.
Photo by Scott Rylander